Conjoined Twin Separation by Apollo Hospital Chennai

Babies are such a nice way to start people. 
~ Don Herold.

And twin babies can only mean double the happiness!

Unfortunately not always! Twins, triplets, quadruplets born with congenial defects and many complications turn the joy to sorrow and worry. Congenial defects in newborns are a cause of high mortality. However with intervention of modern heath facilities and surgical procedures the figures have been contained to a large extent. Here I bring you the story of two identical ‘pygopagus twins’ from Tanzania, Africa. (Pygopagus twins are babies joined at pelvis.)

Apollo Hospital, Chennai, is all set to play a big role in bringing back the smile on the mother’s face!

The mother hails from a small village called ‘Kasumulu’ in Tanzania.

The defect probably wasn’t detected during her pregnancy as she is from rural background. This was the mother’s second delivery, her first child was born through ‘C’ section; the village hospital therefore referred her to district hospital. There, the doctors did ‘C’ section on her. They faced practical difficulties to take the children ‘male pygopagus twins’ out of the uterus as they were joined at the pelvis.

Pygopagus twins
Live born pygopagus twins are usually female in sex. Male pygopagus twins are very rare. Till now in medical literature only 30 sets of pygopagus twins have been reported. Of these 26 were female and only four were male. More than 60% of congenial twins are stillborn. Of the remaining, 35% die within a few days or months of birth due to various causes. Surgical separation is not easy job and often a challenge for doctors. Survival chances too are not high.

The doctors made the distraught mother aware of the difficulties of separating the twins. Imagine her disappointment! Foreseeing the complications of separating the twins, the doctors wisely referred her case to Mohimbili Hospital in the capital Dar es Salaam. It took three long days just to transport the mother and her babies from the district hospital to the capital by ambulance. The complications involved called for more attention and advice from health officials for further procedures to be carried out.

In Chennai, India
The brave mother didn’t loose heart. She went against all odds to provide the best for her twins, Ericana and Eludi. Apollo Hospitals Chennai is closely associated with the Tanzanian government by the Save a Childs Heart Initiative (SACHI). The babies were therefore shifted to Apollo Children’s Hospital in Chennai at four and a half months of age.

After extensive work up it was found that the babies were joined at the tail end of the spines and shared a single anus and rectum. They were also found to have a single phallus and urinary passage. The babies are now 9 months old and weigh 16 kgs. During the last five months tissue expanders have been placed in the back, buttocks and thighs so that skin flaps can be rotated to cover the large defects, which will be left after separation. They have adjusted well with their surroundings and nurses looking after them.

Separation of these babies is a complex task, which will take grueling 14 to 16 hours. It is scheduled on this 16th of December. This decision is the culmination of several months of meticulous planning. A team of 20 doctors from the specialties of neurosurgery, plastic surgery, pediatric surgery and pediatric urology will attempt the separation. The services of Dr. Edward Kiely – Pediatric Surgeon and Dr. Richard Howard – Anesthesiologist both from Great Ormond Street Hospital in London have been sought to guide and help in the safe separation.

As the high risk operation begins, the mother is waiting for a MIRACLE from God! She is looking forward to holding them separately in her arms. She is looking forward to their first birthday when they will be on their own feet. She is looking forward to bright and normal future for her sons. Please keep them in your prayers. Help her bear the burden. PRAYERS, they say, can move mountains! A successful surgery is the need now! I hope and pray that she goes back happily to her country with her two sons!

All the best to the team at Apollo Hospital, Chennai, for a SUCCESSFUL SURGERY!

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37 Responses

  1. ashok says:

    like u said…all the best team Apollo

  2. Yes Indrani, read about this yesterday. Let us all pray for a successful surgery and happiness and joy to the mother and the twins. The Gods in Apollo would be creating a miracle !

  3. Pallavi says:

    Hope it goes well. These darlings deserve a chance for a better life.

  4. Rachna says:

    My prayers for them!

  5. Sylvia K says:

    My thoughts and prayers are with them all for a successful surgery!! A miracle is definitely needed!!

  6. Thank you to each one of you!
    The operation is on now and likely to go on till early hours tomorrow.

  7. Oh my. It is just so amazing how far technology has gotten. I am glad the twins are able to be separated. I am sure they will lead much healthier lives.

  8. Bibi says:

    My prayers are to this brave woman. Today is the 16th…please let us know the outcome.

  9. ladyfi says:

    Oh gosh – I really really pray for a successful surgery!

  10. George says:

    I'm glad that the Apollo hospital is able to help these babies and their mother. They, and the doctors and staff, will be in our prayers.

  11. Awe, I hope that it goes well.

  12. Laura says:

    sending prayers and reiki to both babies, their doctors, nurses and mother.

  13. Hilary says:

    Oh those beautiful little boys. I will indeed keep them in my very best thoughts. May they survive, recover, heal and thrive.

  14. Those beautiful babies are so clearly loved by their mom! I hope doctors can help them.

  15. Seeta says:

    So hope things go fine for them, amen.

  16. I have been following the news. Hope to see something good today. Good luck to the brave mother & the dedicated team at Apollo.

  17. Ohhh God!!! Hope is the only strength in such difficult times…

  18. Sending prayers and healing energy to the little ones…May god bless them..

  19. DeniseinVA says:

    Sending prayers for these dear little baby boys and their mother.

  20. Prayers for the babies and best wishes to the Apollo team .

  21. My daughter was admitted in Apollo and I have utmost faith in the doctors there. Above them I have faith in the Almighty and I am sure he will do what is best for these two kids.

  22. eileeninmd says:

    I pray all goes well for the babies. God Bless them and their mother. Thanks for sharing!

  23. Soham Roy says:

    They are way too young to be in such pain and discomfort. May God help them and Team Apollo..

  24. Namrota says:

    My prayers for the babies and the mother.

  25. May God bless the babies! All the best to the team of doctors at Apollo Hospital.

  26. Gattina says:

    It must be terrible to have twins like this. Fortunately surgery has made so much progress !

  27. I wish if the medical science could eliminate all the imperfections in the biological world… This is a good news that we have got facilities as good as this available at our disposal.

    Btw, I was quite busy with mu semester exams and that's why could not keep track of your updates. 🙁 But for now exams are over I would love to visit often. 😀

  28. Laura says:

    any news on the twins?

  29. Many thanks to you all.

    The twins have been separated by the doctors successfully. But post surgery period is critical. How they adjust is being watched. Hope they will heal and recover well.

  30. Hope all goes well!
    All the best to the docs at Apollo!

  31. Our prayers for them..God bless

  32. bettyl-NZ says:

    I can't possibly imagine being in this situation, but I will be praying for this family.

  33. I received a mail from the PR of Apollo hospitals, the babies are doing fine. So glad for them. Great work by the doctors!

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